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VOL. 108 No. 104 36 Pages SWEEP: ASU completes 2-game sweep of Memphis. B1 THURSDAY APRIL 14, 2011 Copyright© 2011 The Jonesboro Sun 75 CENTS S E R V I N G J O N E S B O R O A N D N O RT H E A S T A R K A N S A S BUDGET: Cut spending, raise taxes on the wealthy, Obama says. A12 Trumann officer fatally shot BY MICHAEL WILKEY SUN STAFF WRITER = • Location of shooting = Landmark Cedar Street • ue ven tt A 463 nse • Trumann Auditorium Poi Maple Street Chamber of Commerce Main Street Carlson Street Site where Trumann officer was shot Mulberry Drive Pine Avenue TRUMANN — Authorities are attempting to determine the motive for a shooting that claimed the life of a police officer Tuesday night, officials said Wednesday. Jerry Lard, 37, of Trumann was being held in a Jonesboro hospital with an armed guard at his side after he allegedly shot and killed Officer Jonathan Schmidt Tuesday night. Arkansas State Police officials, Trumann police and prosecutors spoke about the shooting during an afternoon press conference at the Trumann police station on Melton Avenue. ASP spokesman Bill Sadler said Schmidt, who was with the department for four years, was on a traffic stop on Pine Avenue near the entrance of the Cotton Wood Manor apartments when the shooting happened. Sadler said Schmidt pulled over a 2002 Hyundai, driven by Brian Keith Elumbaugh of Trumann, at 11:27 p.m. and found that he had no liability insurance. He said Sgt. Corey Over- Officer shot in Trumann 463 • Post office Cottonwood Manor Chris Swindle | The Sun Saundra Sovick | The Sun Trumann police officer Jonathan Schmidt was fatally shot during a traffic stop at Cottonwood Manor in Trumann at 11:27 p.m. Tuesday. street soon arrived to help Schmidt on the traffic stop as Schmidt was removing Elumbaugh, who was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant, from the vehicle. After getting Elumbaugh and a passenger out, Schmidt went to the rear right side of the vehicle, Sadler said. “Upon opening the passenger door, [he] was con- fronted by Lard, who was armed with a handgun and fired on Schmidt,” Sadler said. Police allege that Lard and the officers exchanged gunfire near the apartments. Schmidt and Lard were both shot, while Overstreet was treated and released after he received minor injuries. Officials declined to comment on where Schmidt and Lard were shot, citing the ongoing investigation. Schmidt was taken to NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital in Jonesboro where he later died. Neighbors’ statements A witness who was outPLEASE SEE OFFICER, A2 Schmidt remembered as gregarious, family man who followed his dream BY GEORGE JARED SUN STAFF WRITER Benefit funds | TRUMANN — Doris Penter was working inside the Southern Bancorp branch in Trumann Friday when an unmistakable melody filled the air. Someone was playing “Heart and Soul” on the piano in the lobby, and she could tell who the pianist was — her nephew, Jonathan Schmidt. The music brought a smile to her face, something the gregarious Schmidt had done many times over the years, his aunt said. It was the last time she saw him alive. “I knew it was him. He only knew two songs,” Penter said, tears welling in her eyes. “He was a good Christian, family man. He was good at his job. I guess the Lord had other plans.” Schmidt, 30, a Trumann police officer, was gunned down late Tuesday night during a traffic stop near the Cottonwood Manor apartments in Trumann. The suspect in the shooting, 37-year-old Jerry Lard of Trumann, was injured during the shootout, according to the Arkansas State Police. Prosecutors are still piecing together the case, and as of Wednes- Brock Meeler | Special to The Sun Jonathan Schmidt, April 2008 day afternoon Lard had not been charged. Schmidt’s parents, Donald and Kathy Schmidt, and his wife, Andrea, were overwhelmed with grief and unable to talk, Penter said. The slain officer also left behind three children — a son, Chace, 11; a daughter Haleigh, 10; and a son, Keaton, who turned 18 months old on Wednesday. Wi t n e s s e s r e p o r t e d t h a t Schmidt pushed his fellow offi- Saundra Sovick | The Sun Trumann police jailer Tim England’s badge is covered with a black band Wednesday after Trumann police officer Jonathan Schmidt was killed during a traffic stop in Trumann at 11:27 p.m. Tuesday. TODAY: Sunny. High the upper 70s. Southeast winds around 5 mph. Tonight: Showers, thunderstorms likely. Lows around 60. Southeast winds 5-10 mph. Several benefit funds have been set up to help the family of Jonathan Schmidt, a Trumann officer who died in a shooting Tuesday night. To make a donation, contact one of these organizations: • An account has been established under the Police Benevolent Foundation called the “Jonathan Schmidt Memorial Fund” at Regions Bank. Donations can be made at any Regions Bank so that the public can assist in the efforts to provide financial support to officer Schmidt’s beneficiaries. Donations can also be made through the Police Benevolent Foundation’s Web site at www All donations made to this memorial fund are taxdeductible, and 100 percent of the funds will go to officer Jonathan Schmidt’s beneficiaries. The Police Benevolent Foundation is also taking donations via text for the “Jonathan Schmidt Memorial Fund.” You can help by texting the phrase COPS SCHMIDT to 85944. A $10 donation will be made through your cell phone bill. The PBF is asking everyone to pass this information along to friends and family. • Southern Bancorp has established a scholarship fund to benefit Schmidt’s three children. Send donations to Southern Bancorp, P.O. Box 48, Trumann 72472. All donations should be made out to the Andrea Schmidt Scholarship fund, account number 1576634. For more information call the bank at (870) 483-6333. Waylon Harris | The Sun Former Republican gubernatorial candidate and gas executive Sheffield Nelson (left) speaks to Arkansas State University chemistry professor Richard Warby after the Arkansas Rivers Association meeting Wednesday. Gas companies should pay share, Nelson says here BY WAYLON HARRIS SUN STAFF WRITER cer, Trumann Police Sgt. Corey Overstreet, out of the way when Lard opened fire, despite sustaining a gunshot wound to his neck. ASP would not confirm or deny the statements, saying the case was still under investigation. It wouldn’t surprise Penter if her nephew’s final act in life was that heroic. PLEASE SEE SCHMIDT, A2 JONESBORO — Former Republican gubernatorial candidate and gas industry executive Sheffield Nelson said Wednesday that natural gas companies working in the Fayetteville Shale are taking advantage of Arkansans, and it will be up to voters to ensure the companies are paying their share. Speaking at the monthly Arkansas Rivers Association meeting at the Jonesboro Country Club, Nelson said voters should support his ballot initiative to increase the state’s severance tax on extracted natural gas to 7 percent. “I’m willing to spend the next year and a half to try my best to get people to understand that we’re being taken advantage of by the natural gas companies in the state of Arkansas,” Nelson said. “There are good sides to the natural WALK THE LINE: INFO: Plans to be announced for the Johnny Cash Music Festival. Coming Friday. CALL US . .(870) 935-5525 CIRCULATION . . . . Ext. 226 ADVERTISING . . . . Ext. 272 NEWS. . . . . . . . . . Ext. 207 gas business, but there are also not-so-good sides.” Nelson said that while the industry helps provide clean, efficient fuel and creates thousands of jobs, the industry also threatens the long-term stability of the state’s highways and county roads and poses still-unknown risks to the state’s water supplies. Nelson said some may question why he, a former natural gas executive, opposes the existing severance tax on natural gas extracted in the state. “I’m not a big proponent of them coming in and destroying the state of Arkansas, which they’re setting about doing,” said Nelson, who was among the first to propose changing the state’s severance tax in 2007 from threetenths of 1 cent per 1,000 cubic feet of gas produced to 5 percent of the value of gas extracted. PLEASE SEE NELSON, A2 ALMANAC . . . . . . . . . .A15 ARKANSAS. . . . . . . . . .A11 BUSINESS . . . . . . . . . . .B6 CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . . .B11 COMICS . . . . . . . . . . . . .B9 COMMUNITY . . . . . . . .A10 ENTERTAINMENT . . . . . .B8 GETTIN’ OUT . . . . . . . .A16 NEA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A8 OPINION . . . . . . . . . . . .A4 RECORD . . . . . . . . . . . .A6 SPORTS . . . . . . . . . . . . .B1

The Sun Thursday April 14, 2011

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